There are many different ways in which drivers can be distracted while driving. There are three main types of driving distractions: 1) Visual distractions that take the driver’s eyes off the road. 2) Manual distractions which take the driver’s hands off the wheel. 3) Cognitive distractions which take the driver’s mind off driving entirely.
There are also two different forms of distractions: external and internal distractions. External distractions are objects and events outside the vehicle that takes the driver’s focus off the road, even if it’s for a split second. In contrast, internal distractions are caused by objects or events inside the vehicle.
In a research study carried out in the U.S. in 2018, it was discovered that over 2,800 people were killed, and an estimated 400,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. About 20% of the people who died in these crashes were not inside the vehicle. Instead, they were walking, riding their bikes, or standing in the wrong lane.
As such, we can see that these distractions are not only hazardous to the drivers. Passengers, pedestrians, and other road users are also affected. Most times, these distractions are avoidable and such occurrences can be prevented.
Here is a list of 8 major factors that can result in distracted driving
1) Cellphone Use: This is the most common form of distraction while driving. If a cellphone is not kept out of sight and out of reach, some drivers might get distracted by notifications, calls, texts, or other visual and aural interruptions from their phones.
2) Crash Scenes: Many drivers get carried away when they see a crash scene, as they are usually curious to know what led to the accident. Unfortunately, this distracts them from their own driving and causes them to be involved in an accident themselves.
3) Billboards: In order to get a driver’s attention, billboards tend to be bright and bold. More billboards are becoming electronic, using bright lighting and animations to get the attention of drivers and passengers. While this can make for more successful messaging, it can also lead to distracted driving.
4) Adjusting the car’s radio system, whether it’s changing the channel, changing CDs, or otherwise interacting with the sound system.
5) Interacting with passengers, whether children, teenagers, or adults.
6) Adjusting vehicle controls, such as heat or air conditioning, the tilt of the steering wheel, mirrors, or seat position.
7) Waving off pets, insects, and other objects moving inside the vehicle.
8) Daydreaming: Sometimes, drivers get lost in their thoughts and completely forget that they are driving. This is an example of cognitive distraction.
All these aforementioned acts are bad practices that cause distractions while driving. They are all avoidable, and it is best to minimize them as much as possible to prevent accidents and loss of life and properties.
How to Avoid Being Distracted While Driving
- Do not multitask while driving. Focus solely on the road.
- Never use a phone while driving. No texts, no calls.
- Make all climate control or radio adjustments before hitting the road.
- Don’t be too nosy while driving. You don’t have to look at every signpost or event while driving.
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke while driving.
Even if a driver minimizes their risk by avoiding distracted driving, it is almost impossible to avoid distractions entirely. As such, it is advisable for every car owner to get an auto insurance policy to protect themselves, their property, and others in the case of an accident.
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